Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun has said that the company’s smartphones already enable commuters to pay for public transport in over 60 cities around the country. He made the comment shortly after Apple announced that its iOS 11.3 update would allow for the integration of Beijing and Shanghai-based transport cards in Apple Pay.

Taking to Weibo, Lei said, “Xiaomi’s nine NFC-enabled mobile phones already support the use of 63 cities’ public transport cards!”

Earlier today, Apple announced support for the addition of new transport cards and the transfer of user’s existing balances from their cards to their mobile wallet. Dubbed Express Transit, the feature allows Apple users to use their iPhones or Apple Watches to pay for trips on public transport.

The feature is also available in Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

In 2016, Xiaomi and UnionPay announced an NFC-based service for public transport payments. Initially, the platform was only available in Shanghai and Shenzhen but later expanded to other cities around China.

Numerous cities in the country now offer mobile payments on public transport, among them are Hangzhou and Xi’an. Additionally, Shanghai began accepting Alipay in January while Tencent’s payment platform is accepted in over 20 cities. Both Xiaomi and Apple are small players in a market dominated by Alipay and WeChat.

Christopher Udemans is TechNode's former Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covered Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, cleantech, and cybersecurity.

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